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obligation vs. self care + not being judge judy ::

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the cadence of life:

cadence:  the flow or rhythm of events, especially the pattern in which something is experienced: the frenetic cadence of modern life.

      “Life happens Mom, you are not Judge Judy”, Shane - three years old.

I’ll never forget those words after loading my son in his car seat, his little finger pointed straight at me, his attempt to set me right. His afternoon had consisted of being frenetically dragged around at breakneck speed, while I shopped for my husband’s 40th birthday party: my kid was at a breaking point + not having it.  D-O-N-E!  I laughed so hard. I cried.

     I was feeling overburdened; my self-inflicted obligatory perspective, felt like a weighty anchor.  Rather than being grateful to have such a joyous task or even acknowledging the fact, that I was lucky enough to have a husband to shop for.  I rather reveled in wearing the title of “martyr”.  Impatience that day overshadowed what should’ve been a selfless demonstration of giving for our son.

      why?

BECAUSE, I hadn’t actively been exercising any form of self-care + Yup… called out by a three-year-old!

       caring people, why do we deny ourselves the necessity of self-love that we sorely deserve?

One of my favorite quotes ever, by actor Bill Bixby, during his last interview before losing his battle to cancer: “Be good to yourselves, because if you're good to yourself, then you'll be good to everybody else”. 

     Sums it up.  Simple as that, self preservation, no permission necessary… you’ll be the better for it, lots more love to give, more purpose + presence.

 

Go to facebook.com, post on my wall + let me know how you’re honoring yourself.

Visit my COACHING page: here. Learn more about my YOU + ME offering.

Visit my COMMUNITY + PARTNERS page: here.

The Scholars at Garfield High School

Shane was a Scholar they’re near + dear to my heart!  

 

Thanks so much for reading!

Until next time,

Tara

shining your light + not playing small :: what mark will you leave on the world?

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How will I be remembered?

It’s a question I’ve pondered many times this year and analyzed, when a close friend died tragically over a decade ago. About a month prior to her death, we were on the phone, at the time she was working through “stuff”, I listened. I had no idea it was the last time we’d ever speak again.  Before saying goodbye, I’ll never forget Dana’s last three words of gratitude for our friendship were, “you inspire me”. That was it. About a month later, I got the devastating news.

This year was tough, the sudden loss of my Grandmother in March- she was “my moon + my stars”, nearly losing our son three days before his high school graduation, due to a freak accident - a clip to the side, while playing flag football, then death of my Aunt in July. I made the decision to take time to go inward… to catch my breath. With memorial services, a family reunion and Shane leaving for college in just over a month, this was the perfect time to self- reflect, re-frame my life and take stock of priorities.

See No Color and my coaching practice, was close to launch, I had worked tirelessly preparing, but was this the right thing, at the right time?

Many of my friends, family and acquaintances had lived through similar circumstances over the last two years.  I wasn’t alone in the myriad of experiences and obstacles that challenge our faith: divorce, finances, jobs, illness, death, or simply just feeling “stuck”.  I accepted quiet solitude and the knowing that I could access family and the dearest of friends, by simply “being” with people and basking in their presence. Life seemed to just “show up” for me in the most unexpected ways, offering renewed confidence, in the life I’d created and a sense of belonging. The idea that adverse circumstances and situations often times are the impetus of reframing our existence is a powerful one.

     During times of personal crisis, it begs the question…

What innate gifts do I possess? How plentiful are my emotional reserves, will I be remembered, am I significant?  When you are conscious in this life, are aware that there is no time to waste, are willing and ready to receive by bravely letting go of fear + realizing your inherent gifts: LIFE PRESENTS ITSELF. 

        Shine on baby.

A quote from author and minister Marianne Williamson, from A Return To Love.  Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world .  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

        And speaking of brilliant, talented + fabulous, WE HAVE WINNERS!

   The See No Color Volunteer + Serve Youth Contest winners! And they are…

Nel Lee :: Honolulu, HI.  Educator. Teaches with love + compassion, goes above and beyond serving the lives of her students while supporting their parents and her community in and outside the classroom.

Robin Fleming :: Seattle, WA.  Public High School R.N. with a Ph.D in Educational Leadership and Contract Studies.  Powerhouse advocate - supports youth healthcare for all children, including immigrant populations.  Her studies and platform emphasize the relationship and importance of proper healthcare through education. Philosophy; one does not exist without the other. Volunteer:  Martinez Foundation, Seattle.

Karin Saldana :: Portside, NJ.  Zen organizer extraordinaire, she kicked my workspace into shape, in the gentlest of ways.  Volunteer: Hoboken Shelter, New Jersey.

Dane Correll :: Seattle, WA.  Sr. Accounts Biotech Manager.  University of Vermont Alumni. Dynamic leader, advocate and supporter of education.  Volunteer:  UVM, ALANA Panel. He discussed his post college career path and the role of diversity + empowerment in the work place with current students and future business leaders.

the entrepreneur’s “I AM” statement + creating authentic expression through intention

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Several years ago I was feeling stuck, ever slightly robotic- left brain wreaks havoc on right brain, both brains on temporary “lock down.”

The familiar and tried + true were a best friend; comfortable and reliable, never steering you wrong and always applauding. With all my accomplishments, I knew how to master my “safety zone”, never pushing myself outside the lines.

I realized that I was losing a part of myself, the person I was before life got in the way; humor flatlined, taking parenting too seriously + living for work: uber career people – you know what I say to be true. I take full ownership: nobody knows what you need unless you state your case.

The “Old Tara” knew how to sew? 

 After much introspection, I made a choice to take healthy risks, to do things that scared me (in a good way), that I MAY EVEN SUCK AT.  What a concept… yet cathartic.

     We’re talking spoken word classes, poetry writing, photography, salsa, hula and hip hop dance, art classes, social media tutorials, girl empowerment + spiritual workshops, Life Coach Certification, creating feel good classes for women in transition, attending multi-culture, immigrant and diversity continuing education classes + Braddah Pat’s Ukulele Lessons at Ballard NW Senior Center, every third Sunday, $5.00.

      News Flash: YOU CAN rediscover your authentic self; your expressive self.  First, you must actively and intentionally do the “I AM” work, expressed in your own way Reflection:  who am I, what do I wish to become?  It may inevitably lead you to unfamiliar ground and at times, create self doubt + discomfort.  So what’s the point?     

      Case in point: It opens up channels that you may have not experienced since childhood = SURRENDER + JOY.  It may ignite entrepreneurial and career opportunity, or simply raise your bar of confidence + self worth.  Bonus; you meet inspired, supportive people on the same, conscious journey:  Like attracts like.

This month I had the honor of attending a lecture by Dr. Wayne Dyer.  At closing, he offered what I’ll call, “a gift with purchase”.  The “I Am meditation”, there were five, here are two taken from my notes.

       Imagination - Ignore evidence, walk down a different street/path. Turn left when others are turning right. Change the concept of yourself.

       Assume the feeling of a wish fulfilled – Your wish must be expressed: feel it, believe it, you will attract it.

now:  Write down your 5 “I AM’s”.  Do so with love + conscious care. Believe it, own it.  See what sparks.

Cheers to Joy! Tara   

p.s. If you liked this article, please “Like” it & share it on Facebook and Twitter. Please forward to a friend!

public school + transcending average to extraordinary : SNC is having a contest!

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:: the framework ::                

I was a product of public school. As a teenager growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, my parents thought it would be a good experience for me to attend an inner city middle school in East Anchorage. Attending Clark Junior High would force me to leave all my friends behind, our duplex bordered two districts; my familiar zone which was predominately white, while the other was a melting pot of multi-culture, multi-ethnicity and a large military population – white, black, Alaska Native, Asian and a few Hispanic students, all of whom for the most part, were low to lower income. In the 70’s, the classes were finitely segmented.

Both of my parents came from humble and hard working beginnings; my Father’s family was composed of strong South Dakota and Pacific Northwest stock. My Mom born in Honolulu was raised in Kalihi, on the Island of Oahu. Her neighborhood which is a couple of miles or so from the airport, may be considered the “the projects” today- to me it was heaven, plumerias, shrimp chips and rainbow popsicles.  After graduating from Kamehameha High School, my Mom moved to Washington State.  My parents met in Everett, Washington while attending Junior College, they fell in love and the rest they say is history.

   Growing up mixed race, I always identified with all aspects of my heritage; but understandably, because of the fact that I look Caucasian, it was often times disregarded and I was not always accepted as anything, other than white.

Rewind to Clark Junior High, East Anchorage circa 1974, I had a handful of white friends – three in particular, that saved my butt on a few occasions. My experience in middle school, at least for the first year, was less about academia and more about dodging getting my *@# kicked. The kids were tough; some just not having me… nothin’ personal.  I would cringe at the fights I’d witness in the hallways, at lunch and after school…I thanked my lucky stars I managed not to be on the receiving end. With the best of intentions my parents wanted me exposed to racial diversity and some realness; a childhood better than, but more in line with, their experience.  Unfortunately for me, my three “best friends”, weren’t always available to run interference.  I devised a plan to win the student body of Clark Junior High over, one-at-a-time. If I earned their trust, with luck and skill, I’d create an army of protectors for this bony, white skinned girl.  And protected me they did, I had MY tribe.  

  My friendships were racially defined and divided, I found myself running from group to group. As a teenager it proved exhausting. My teenage years were more focused on navigating a social system and finding “my place”.   “Lazy”, “average”, “but nice” were commonly used adjectives to describe me by my teachers... swell.

    Does any of this resonate with you, your children or your students?

These experiences uniquely shape our world views, our scope + perspective and life lens. If lessons are learned, they arm us with resilience: instilling qualities of empathy and compassion not only for others, but for ourselves. Qualities that serve us as human + spiritual beings.

    Regardless of race, perceived physical perfection (or lack thereof) and sexual orientation we at times, don’t cut ourselves or anyone else, slack.  As parents, educators and civic supporters the “it takes a village” approach should be the rule, not the exception.

SEE NO COLOR Mentor or Volunteer With A Child Contest! –  there will be 5 winners.

The lucky winners will get a See No Color Signature T-Shirt. WOW!

         I know many of you volunteer + I know how busy you are, trust me. Here’s how it works: Volunteer on behalf of a public or private school or youth focused non-profit organization that supports youth academically, or provides critical services- such as food, shelter and clothing for youth. Volunteer 1-2 hours. Your time can make a huge difference + just may get a “shout out”! Use the contact form on my site.  Deadline is October 21st, 2011. I will announce the winners on October 26th. HAVE FUN! *recent (1-2 weeks ago) volunteer work will qualify.

sacred ambition + why perfection is highly overrated

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planning, plotting and the repetition of our daily lives - executing to do’s, managing time, organizing, multi-tasking to precision… Perfection = Soul Suck x2

ahhh perfection… however subjective :: it can be mind numbing.

ideas killed, imagination is shelved, dreams are round filed:  road block to creativity, stops you dead in your tracks.

           Sacred Ambition is lost. 

           Sacred Ambition :: our inherent blueprint, our north star, innate gifts to the world, that driving force.

the stuff that moves mountains:  makes us unstoppable, unimaginably unforgettable, liberates, inspires and changes lives.

got a dream?

SCRAP PERFECTION + PROCRASTINATION. DEFINE + HONOR YOUR Soul’s True Intention.

Find your voice + your purpose, build your platform, take a stand

       Last Saturday, I received a generous gift from a reader who I’ve never met.  She shared with me a story about her son.  Turns out my Sacred Ambition; aka: www.SeeNoColor.com was worth taking the leap away from perfectionism + having the chops to do this.

Please Read What Follows... This is for you Barbara.  I hope this, in some small way honors your son and brings you the peace you deserve. 

      I just ordered 5 tee shirts a few days ago because I was so connected to and touched by your personal story. My son, who is black, was home for a visit several years ago - on leave while serving in the US Army in Germany. He went down to the local 7-11 and purchased a pack of cigarettes, which he paid for with a fifty-dollar bill. The clerk engaged him in small talk for a few minutes and as he left the store, he was surrounded by police cars. Officers jumped out of the cars, guns drawn and told him to spread eagle on the police car while they searched him. Did I mention that one officer held a gun to his head the entire time? After they "cleared" him of any wrongdoing, the only explanation he got for almost being executed was that he "resembled" a description of a person who was a robbery suspect and had paid for his cigarettes with a large bill. No apology. Nothing. Our son left the scene forever changed. He chose to stay - to live and work - in Germany where he has never once been subjected to the type of racial profiling that came close to costing him his freedom or his life, had he not complied immediately with the officers' demands. His visit home was overshadowed by this incident, which fostered so much family anger and grief. While we are fortunate that our son's decision not to come home to live after his discharge from the army has created opportunities for our family to experience a part of the world and a culture that we may not have otherwise known, it has always saddened me from that day to this - that we could think of no effective way to voice our feelings of outrage about what happened to him that day. It saddens me that my son lives abroad because he feels like an alien in his own country. This gives us an opportunity to raise awareness. I know I will wear my shirt proudly and with so much feeling. Thank you for finding a way to turn your own terrible experience into something pro-active. I wish I could have done something like that. But I will do it now. Our family will wear our shirts and advocate in that way - and through any discussion that comes as a result for a more humane and peaceful, kind and loving world. I just wanted you to know how much your story touched me and how close I feel to your mission.

Sincerely, Barbara

                 find your SACRED AMBITION,

                 grandiose or just a blip, YOU are a CONDUIT, make a DIFFERENCE!

Much Love, Tara

See No Color :: The Birth ::

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My name is Tara Correll. I am a Wife, Mother, Social Activist + Empowerment Coach and Entrepreneur.

 I have two Moms, a Dad and a Brother, who for the last twenty years, has been incarcerated.  I once had a Sister that we adopted, her name was Tasha.  At age fourteen or fifteen, she ran away.  I never saw her again. Last year, I accidently stumbled upon her obituary while doing a google search. In February 2009 she died at Harborview, a trauma center in Seattle, reasons unknown.  Some of you may know my story, at least in part.  Before you delete this post please read on.  It’s my hope that it will lend itself to the framework of what I’m attempting to do; what I was put here to do. So if I’m as lucky and blessed as I think I am, you will read what follows and continue to follow me. There's a much bigger story to tell here.  As folks say, It is not all about me.

: the day my heart was broken :

It was a hot August day in summer 2006, a Sunday, sometime after 8 p.m., but before 9 o’clock.  I cannot for the life of me, remember the date.  But that really is irrelevant. Dane, Shane and I live in a Seattle neighborhood some consider to be affluent. We are lucky.

My husband Dane and I came home that evening after a summer day of concerts.  Shane had spent the day with our friends, playing water games, slip and slide, the stuff kids do, pure bliss.  He happened to be twelve or maybe thirteen.  While our neighbors to the north were vacationing, Shane had a two week job; responsibilities included retrieving mail and watering their tomato plants.  Twilight was approaching, I suggested to Dane that he take the Sunday Times and watch Shane while he tended to our neighbors yard.  Dane with the business section in hand, our son ready to tend to tomatoes, they headed off next door. 

While washing the dishes, I heard yelling- audible shouting, it’s unsettling, my God!  Did they walk in on someone trying to rob the house? I ran to the backyard, just off the kitchen; as I look up I realize there are two police officers – one has a gun with a red laser pointed at my son's forehead and flashlight shining in his eyes to disable him.  Shane paralyzed and trembling with watering wand in hand stood shivering over the tomato plants. 

Pleading with the officer to drop his gun, I see two in view.  The officer with his pistol directed at Shane’s head, demands to know who I am and where I live.  Clearly agitated, he explains that they are responding to a 911 call; two black men with black bags are believed to be robbing this house. I don’t see Dane anywhere.  Just a few feet away from Shane, the officer refuses to drop his weapon. I sprint up to our neighbor’s yard through the alley, as I approach the back yard, I see a man and woman- I recognize them, they’re our neighbors, who we’ve met on several occasions over the past three years. That day, they happened to forget. Running down the alley, the woman is yelling and apologizing, apparently she had placed the call that the police responded to.

The third officer appeared; young, female and Hispanic, all were clearly shaken; this may have not ended well and they knew it.  Our female neighbor was profusely apologetic. I just wanted to take my Son home.  Shane being understandably frightened had attempted to run to Dane, it was then that guns were drawn.  As long as I live I will never forget what the officer who had the business end of a gun aimed at my son’s head said, “young man, next time an officer asks you to halt, you better do it”.  Really? Is that what this life has in store for my son? Oh, did I mention that Dane and Shane happen to be Black?

THAT DAY WE WEREN'T LUCKY ::

Shane was just a boy...a child. He could have been someone else's son, but he happens to be ours. What transpired that day could have happened anywhere, in any town or inner city, in a “less desirable” place.  But it didn’t. What happened to us five years ago happens all the time. We were not exempt.  As humans we make assumptions + judgments, create labels and stereotypes based on race, heritage and skin color.  Much of it is stems from beliefs that are so deeply rooted and fear that is due to lack of education, spiritual foundation, understanding or love.  That day, my heart was broken.  As a Mother, how could I lend voice to this experience and morph it into something beautiful?  Somehow in a twisted way, it was a gift to me + a call to action.     

Five years later, See No Color is born.  www.SeeNoColor.org

Please share this, there’s more to come...Tara

A LEAP OF FAITH

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aka: follow your heart + it will all fall into place

Leap: a sudden or abrupt transition.   Faith: a belief that is not based on proof.       

I have entitled this post A LEAP OF FAITH, because neither definitions apply to me and what I'm about to share with you. How that statement does apply, is that most people reading this who don’t know me would think that this indeed is “a leap of faith” and perhaps those who do know me would agree. However, I’ve been known to take the road less traveled...

I have spent my life + purpose attempting to find meaning and make sense of and in a sometimes, life really sucks and isn’t fair kinda place. However, being the girl with the “glass half full” that I am, I have been fortunate to have found extreme joy in this oh-so-crazy world. I must admit at times, it’s certainly a mystery that half of us aren’t walking around bat shit crazy, with what life throws our way...well, maybe we are and we don’t know it...ignorance can sometimes be bliss. But I’ll only speak for myself and in spite of all that, I know I am very blessed and perspective is key to sanity.

Friends understand the why-it-is I am about to embark on my new journey; something I am absolutely, without a doubt, 100% sure I was put here to do it kind of experience. After all, it’s been my mission and the universe does not disappoint. It definitely offers up some good material. If you are awake in your life and living consciously, it’s all there, whether we choose to pay attention, or not.  Quite frankly, it’s easier not to. It is the fear that stops 99% of us from pursuing what we’re really put here on earth to do so…

I’ve launched : See No Color.

Social Activism meets Empowerment CoachingIt’s about transforming ourselves, through self empowerment, education, the arts + self acceptance so the world will see us differently.  It’s about Race + Heritage - a core and crucial component of the business. It's about time!

Mission: Our goal is to inspire, motivate and transform antiquated beliefs in regard to race and heritage that confine our world.

So you see, it’s been neither a leap or blind faith, but rather, CONSCIOUS FAITH + a lifetime in the making!

STAY TUNED!

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